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Childhood asthma, food allergy may up anxiety disorder risk




Toronto, Jan 5: If your child is suffering from chronic illness such as asthma or food allergy, he or she is more likely to develop anxiety or other mental health disorders, finds a study

The findings showed that anxiety disorders were most common, including separation anxiety, generalised anxiety and phobias, in kids with chronic illness such as asthma, food allergy, epilepsy, diabetes or juvenile arthritis.

For the study, detailed in the journal BMJ Open, the team from the University of Waterloo surveyed children between the age of six and 16.

According to parents’ responses to a standardised interview, 58 per cent of children screened positive for at least one mental disorder.

Six months after diagnosis, the number of kids showing signs of a mental disorder dipped slightly to 42 per cent.

“These findings show that risk for mental disorder is relatively the same among children with different physical conditions,” said Mark Ferro, Professor at Waterloo.

“Regardless of their condition, children with physical and mental health problems experience a significant decline in their quality life within the first six months after receiving their diagnosis, indicating a need for mental health services early on,” Ferro added

The researchers found that age and gender had no impact on the results. A subset of kids self-reported on their own mental health.



World Sleep Day: Over 60% Indians feel sleep is not a priority, finds Survey



world sleep day

New Delhi, March 16: Over 60 per cent of Indians feel exercise is the top factor impacting health and well-being more than sleep, finds a survey that highlighted the need for good sleep for better health.

The survey, led by Philips India, showed that 19 per cent of Indian adults account overlapping work hours with normal sleep time (shift work sleep disorder) as a key barrier to sleep.

According to another 32 per cent, technology is a major sleep distractor.

While 45 per cent adults have tried mediation to initiate and maintain good sleep, 24 per cent reported having tried specialised bedding.

“Sleep disorder is a much more serious issue than what most people understand, especially given their direct correlation with other serious conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke etc,” Harish R, Head (Sleep and Respiratory Care) at Philips, said in a statement.

“In a country where snoring is traditionally associated with sound sleep, it is extremely challenging to make people aware that it is a sign of a serious sleep disorder,” he added.

The findings will provide directions to raise awareness and innovate interventions to ensure an important but oft-neglected aspect of health and wellbeing: sleep health.

The survey was based on Philips annual global survey conducted with over 15,000 adults across 13 countries — India, the US, the UK, Germany, Poland, France, China, Australia, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil and Japan.


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Slow down ageing with right food, ample sleep



slow down aging
slow down aging, Photo youtube

New Delhi, March 13: Want to age slowly and live a longer life? Eat right, get adequate sleep and stay positive.

“There are a couple of things, one is food for sure. What you eat is what you show on the outside. The second is what and how you think… if you are more positive, if you are happier then your skin and your cells are happy and you don’t age as fast as you would if you were unhappy or stressed,” Neha Ranglani told IANS on behalf of Sony BBC Earth’s show “How to Stay Young”.

“The third is sleep, which is super important. These three things determine your youthfulness,” added the nutritionist and wellness expert.

VLCC’s wellness expert Anju Ghei said the food one eats has direct impact on physical, mental, and emotional health.

“A well-balanced diet can provide all the nutrition you need to fuel your daily activities. The total daily calorie intake should take into account the level of daily physical activity,” Ghei said.

Ranglani said “fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains to a small extent and pulses are extremely healthy”.

“The more natural and less processed you eat, the slower you age because then you’re giving your body the nutrients, vitamins, the anti-oxidants which help to form the collagen and maintain the elasticity of your skin.

“That way, your cells break down and repair faster rather than just breaking down and not repairing because of the unhealthy food,” she added.

How can young professionals include that in life who prefer to grab a bite while on the go?

Ranglani said: “The whole point is that they need to be organised as to what they would eat the entire day, and depend less on packaged and outside food.

“So if they are organised and carry proper meals for proper timings and instead of eating chips or having tea or coffee, if they pick up fruits or have more of coconut water with malai or have a handful of nuts that would help them give them the nutrients that their body needs.

“They just need to be mindful about what put in their mouth at every point of time.”

Ghei also said eliminating stress, sleeping well and sleeping enough, kicking the butt and curbing alcohol will also make a difference.

“It’s the continued stress and our body’s natural, evolutionary response that causes all sorts of health problems, including weight gain,” she said.

To this, Ranglani added: “Tea, coffee, alcohol and cigarettes should not be consumed at all. These things can wreck your whole youthfulness. The internal and external smoke and toxins can actually make your skin look dull and dead, leading to wrinkling and ageing faster.

“These addictions are something which everyone needs to get over for a happy and a healthy life.”


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Parliamentary panel red-flags government’s ambitious healthcare scheme




New Delhi, March 13: The Modi government has released less than half of the budgeted allocation for health insurance of poor families in fiscal 2017-18, even as it promised to step up coverage with the proposed launch of what is called the world’s largest government healthcare programme.

The revenue allocation of Rs 975 crore for the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) was reduced to Rs 565 crore and, as the year progressed, the actual release was just Rs 450 crore — less than half of the budget estimate, according to a parliamentary panel’s report.

“Funds as a central share of premium under RSBY of approximately Rs 450 crore were only released for such states that submitted their proposal during the year 2017-18,” said the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare in its report.

As for the reason for reducing the budgeted allocation, the panel quoted the Department of Health and Family Welfare, saying: “This ministry had moved a proposal for another scheme with an enhanced cover of Rs 1 lakh per family.

“However, this proposal is still pending with the cabinet. Therefore, such states that were waiting for the new scheme to be launched did not submit any proposal and meanwhile stopped implementation of RSBY.”

Even the amount of Rs 25 crore allocated for capital purposes in 2017-18 for setting up office premises for the proposed scheme with an enhanced cover of Rs 1 lakh remained unutilised during the period as the cabinet approval for the scheme remained pending. The money was surrendered.

The RSBY provided a limited coverage of only Rs 30,000 and there was a proposal to increase it to Rs 1 lakh. While the government had difficulties in implementing the healthcare scheme, it announced the launch a bigger healthcare programme in its Union Budget for 2018-19 last month.

The proposed National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS), which would subsume RSBY, would cover 10 crore poor and vulnerable families, and the coverage is further enhanced to Rs 5 lakh per family per year.

However, the Parliamentary Standing Committee has warned of possible failures.

The committee reported that the enrolment in RSBY was quite low. “Only 57 percent of eligible are enrolled and less than 12 percent of the eligible persons got their hospitalisation covered through RSBY.”

Citing a comprehensive review of various studies on RSBY, the panel said that in a majority of states (eight out of 14) there was an increase in out-of-pocket expenditure related to RSBY, while only two of 14 studies showed a reduction in expenditure.

It further noted that many states have opted out of RSBY in favour of state-run schemes. “The government should form a committee to analyse the failures of RSBY and ensure that inadequacies plaguing the operation and implementation of RSBY are not repeated.”

The panel observed that the new scheme is just a modification of the earlier one as more than half of the target beneficiaries proposed to be covered under the NHPS were already covered under existing government-supported schemes.

“What would indeed have been a step forward is if it covered out-patient treatment as well, but that is lacking,” said the Parliamentary panel.


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